Chris Gelinas started his foray into fashion with what he called “a little white lie.” While still a business student at the University of Windsor in his native Canada, Gelinas applied for an internship at Marc Jacobs in New York. In a phone interview, he told the Marc staffer that he was actually in fashion school. It worked.
“I showed up and didn’t even know how to thread a needle,” the designer said last week in his Garment District studio, where he’s been working on his label CG’s launch collection. “It was spring ’06 at Marc — the collection with the marching band — and after that show, I was hooked.”
Gelinas returned to Marc Jacobs for a second internship in the public relations department, and was offered a job as an assistant buyer at the company. He jumped at the chance, although “The whole time I was doing the buying, I was really just sneaking away into the sample room and watching Marc style.”
Jazzed by the creative side, he enrolled at Parsons The New School for Design to study fashion, took an internship at Proenza Schouler, and then relocated to Paris for an apprenticeship at Balenciaga, where he worked with Natacha Ramsay, then Nicolas Ghesquière’s first assistant at the label. “For me and my design process, that is what changed everything,” he said. “The way they design, the rigorous research, the fabric manipulation...always pushing it to the next level. It inspired me to want to investigate technical innovations, and really working with fabrics before considering silhouettes and sketching.”
While in Paris, Gelinas also met with Olivier Theyskens, who later hired him as his first assistant at Theyskens Theory, where he spent the next two-and-a-half years until he started working on his launch, which he will present with appointments at his studio during fashion week. RELATED STORY: NYFW Newcomers — Adam Selman >>
His first collection makes an impressive case for combining innovative fabrics and technology with classic, feminine shapes. He started spring with thoughts of the sun and sun protection, and evolved these into a more general theme of protection versus exposure and vulnerability. Many of his pieces have a faded quality to them as if bleached by the sun.
Among the highlights is a chic tea dress in a lightweight techno shirt fabric with a collar made from hand-painted laminated horsehair bonded with nylon. Another top look— a white cotton jacquard tank top, its fabric resembling a crisp beach towel. Gelinas is also working with Düsseldorf, Germany-based company Nucleus, which uses ultrasonic seam-welding to create near-seamless garments.
The domestically-produced collection is priced from $500 to $1,095 for basics, including tops and pants, and $1,195 to $4,000 for dresses, jackets and outerwear. Ideally, the collection will launch with smaller specialty stores that, rather than pile on the merch, tightly “curate” their offering.
Asked for his design philosophy, Gelinas is as interested in technology as silhouette. “Sewing machines have been around since the industrial revolution and that hasn’t changed much, but I think that there are some really interesting new technologies,” he said. “I like to think about the ‘how’ we make clothes, not necessarily just what we make, because I really think that’s the future.”
EXCLUSIVE: Two and half months after John Targon, cofounder and codesigner of Baja East, was hired as creative director of the contemporary division at Marc Jacobs, he has left the company, WWD has learned. Marc Jacobs International, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, confirmed Targon’s departure in a statement: “John Targon is a talented designer and we appreciate the work he has done here. Ultimately working together did not make sense for the brand and we wish him the best.” Read the story by @jessiredale, link in bio. #wwdnews
@theluxurycollection is officially launching a collection, tapping Sofia Sanchez de Betak for the capsule. Over 30 styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection, debuting next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and more. De Betak, known as “@chufy,” drew inspiration for the collection from her trips to Japan in the past year #wwdfashion
@lhd, founder and CEO of @thewebster, has teamed up with @lebonmarcherivegauche for the European launch of her ready-to-wear line, LHD. The launch will come with an exclusive pop-up opening today that’s set to run through May 20. Located on the second floor, it carries her debut Miami-themed resort collection, launched in November as see-now-buy-now. #wwdfashion
@longchamp, which marks its 70th anniversary this year, just opened its biggest U.S. store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. On the lower level there’s a floor-to-ceiling display of the brand’s iconic Le Pliage bag – in all of its different colors, shapes and sizes. Customers can also have their product personalized in-store by imprinting names, initials or emblems. #wwdfashion (📷: @ericmtownsend)
“Whenever I’m in that place of sound and music, I don’t have fear or nervousness…This album has a lot of themes of courage and boldness and I want to be the soundtrack for people’s lives. I’ll be so happy if [my songs] evoke strength in people, which I know music has done for me,” says @kimbramusic of her newest album “Primal Heart.” The New Zealand-born singer sat down with WWD to talk about her music, newest tour and connecting with hear fans — read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
Luxury handbag resale company @rebagofficial is planning to sell a rare collectible for $70,000: the @hermes White Crocodile Himalayan Birkin. The exclusive Birkin sold for about $100,000 in 2008, when @davidbeckham bought one for his wife @victoriabeckham to add to her collection. Read more about the rare Birkin on WWD.com #wwdaccessories
With her costume pearl necklace and what-you-see-is-what-you-get style, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at age 92, was a straight-shooter from start to finish.
Born Barbara Pierce in New York City, Bush served as the 37th first lady, as well as the country’s second lady from 1981 to 1989. In addition to being part of the longest presidential marriage — 73 years — Bush also had the unlikely distinction of having one son, George W., become the 43rd president and another son, Jeb, run unsuccessfully in 2016. Having served as second lady during the Reagan administration’s two terms and lived all over the world during her own husband’s ascending political career, Barbara Bush made it clear that literacy — not fashion — was her priority. Read more from Rosemary Feitelberg’s obituary on the late First Lady in WWD.com, link in bio. #barbarabush #wwdnews
Western and ’90s trends have influenced denim for fall 2018. Think raw, dark and coated jeans mixed with bold prints and tough leather. #trendtuesdays #wwdfashion (Styled by @thealexbadia;📷: @ryanplett)